Hey Book Friends. Aside from devouring great books, I love to watch (and re-watch) 80s and 90s sitcom television. My shows of preference are “Golden Girls,” “Martin,” “Designing Women” and “Living Single.” All great content and diversity. I’ll spread the love into the millennium with “Everybody Loves Raymond,” but that’s about it. With every episode play, no matter how often I’ve seen it, I learn or pickup something new. I’ve recently been streaming “Living Single” on Hulu and I’m amazed at the character of Overton Wakefield Jones, played by actor and comedian John Henton. All I can say is that this character, Overton, is *the* uber man I think my friends and I have been swiping left and right for, hoping to find digitally.
If you’re unfamiliar with the show, “Living Single” is the show “Friends” tried to copy…except it’s funny. Honestly. “Friends” came out after and the name was one of the choices “Living Single” producers tossed around. Both shows were about groups of 20-something friends living in New York. The *friends* were living in Manhattan, while those living single lived in Brooklyn. Oh, but there’s more. Both groups are a mix of men and women who range the spectrum of professional success, i.e. analyst, magazine publisher, lawyer, stock broker, and paleontologist. And some relationships sprouted within both groups as expected.
There is one standout different between the two shows–aside from the complete devoid of diversity on one of them–it’s the character of Overton Wakefield Jones. He is the ultimate catch. I say this as a woman living in New York, hustling towards my dreams and dating people, which I have realized is akin to sticking my arm in box of hypodermic needles with the hope of pulling out a daisy. Overton is that catch. The character has a moral compass that is unwavering. He’s an old school romantic partner who writes love notes to his beloved, Synclair James, played by actress Kim Coles. He is supportive, out spoken—when necessary—funny, and handy: Overton works as a handy-man in the brownstone the group lives in. I don’t know what it is…that’s a lie: I know exactly what it is. The lack of Overtons available to date is making me jealous and I hate it. This is not to say there aren’t any Overtons in the NY-metro area, just not enough single, available Overtons to go around.
(Note: I’ve watched both shows from beginning to end multiple times. Don’t argue with me, argue with your mom.)